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Why not 10GbE then?
The point being that there is no point in adding a pair of thunderbolt ports when a single USB2 port is plenty fast enough.
You can’t pump audio onto the desk at more than real time, so there is no sense in having anything faster – that’s not building down to a price, but up to a standard (fast enough to support the required data rates).

USB3 is backward compatible, and I imagine that USB2 will remain available for a very long while – Keyboards and mice are still USB1 for the most part, because there is no need for higher data rates in those instances.

18 track limit is fine for the QU16 😉

As for the “won’t own an iPad” – I’m sure that an iPad2 with a poor battery could be picked up reasonably cheaply – then it just sits on the desk plugged in – you’re buying a reasonably expensive mixer, an extra £100-£150 for a larger screen isn’t that significant. After all you’re probably already paying £40 for a Sandisk Extreme, £200 for a flight case…